How Do I Stay Safe On WhatsApp And Protect My Data?

WhatsApp malware is grabbing headlines again as its parent company, Facebook, is filing a lawsuit against the NSO Group — popular hackers in Israel. Even if NSO has still not owned up to anything, the fact is a minimum of 1,400 WhatsApp users were hit by the spyware.

It was simple to pull off too. These hackers apparently made use of a bug in the software to by-pass the encryption and install malware with a missed call. As soon as it was installed, the hacker had control of the smartphone and used cameras and microphones to spy on innocent victims.

In this tutorial, we will discuss some things to bear in mind to prevent such spyware from affecting your phone. Let’s help you to help yourself by showing you How To Stay Safe On WhatsApp And Protect Your Data?:

1. Update

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The hackers constantly search for software vulnerabilities to take advantage of. The NSO Group hack of WhatsApp was carried out via giving missed calls. Therefore, the user did not have much control over how the malware was installed on his or her mobile device.

For all applications, not just WhatsApp, updates will not give you new features but added security. A lot of these updates come with security patches that will make the app more safe to use and prevent hackers from having access.

So, always make sure you update your apps as soon as one is available. Be aware that, if you are not connected to the Wi-Fi, Google cannot automatically update the applications on your device. In that case, you will manually inform the Play Store to download updates with the device’s network.

2. 2-Factor Authentication Will Take More Time, But It Is Important

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There was a period when car owners failed to obey the red lights on their way to work so they can get there faster. The awareness campaigns simply asked those drivers if those few seconds were worth their lives. And that did the trick.

The same goes for WhatsApp. It will take some extra seconds to get yourself logged in, but 2-factor authentication is very important if you really want to keep your data private. This does not apply to WhatsApp alone, it will keep your Gmail, Instagram, Twitter accounts safe as well.

3. WhatsApp Is Encrypted, The Cloud Isn’t

You are right, WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption, but this applies to the messaging service alone. As soon as you backup your data to the cloud or any external server, WhatsApp is no longer responsible for it. Meaning, if a hacker targets your data, they do not even need your WhatsApp account, they can tamper with your drive instead.

Around November 2018, WhatsApp revealed that it would not be backing up data to its personal servers. User data will now be stored on Google Drive or iCloud. Therefore, if you really care about your data being safe, backing up WhatsApp should be something you have to deactivate.

4. Be Familiar With Your Settings

Making up your mind on if you wish to back up your WhatsApp chats or not is where it ends. WhatsApp provides other settings too. A few of them are giving you control of making “last seen” visible or not, letting you be in charge of the number of people you share your Status with, plus the blue tick marks that will tell you if a message has been read.

It may not hide your account from hackers, but it will grant you added control over the information being put out. I don’t know about you, but that is key.

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